LADOT: We’re Too Poor to Staff Bike Advisory Committee Meetings

12_15_10_bac_1.jpgThe Bicycle Advisory Committee, on the dais. Photo: Ciclavia

As budget cuts hit agencies across the city, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation continues to make cuts by retreating from its already lacking commitment to public outreach.  In a letter addressed to Bicycle Advisory Committee Chair Glenn Bailey LADOT General Manager Rita Robinson informs the Committee that the LADOT will no longer be able to provide staff to attend any meeting that takes place after business hours and won’t provide any support staff at all.  The LADOT has already backed away from its commitment to have a working Memorandum of Understanding with Neighborhood Councils, and now they’re bailing on providing support for its own advisory bodies.  You can read Robinson’s letter here.

Bailey, in a letter to the rest of the Committee, notes that the city’s commitment to the B.A.C. has been waning for years,

I would make the observation that for the first decade or so of the
BAC’s existence, it was staffed by someone from the Mayor’s Office. 
During that period it seemed that the BAC had more influence with City
agencies, perhaps because all communication came from the Mayor’s office.

However, not everyone is going to mourn the reduced role for the LADOT in the working of the city’s official cycling body; LADOT staff has been blamed for the bureaucratic nature of the committee.  It will be interesting to see how, if at all, the Committee changes in the coming months and whether the LADOT will continue to back away from its commitments to interact with the public.

  • Hey, great, then fire the coordinator and issue an MOU giving transportation planning authority over to an agency that CAN handle it!

  • talk about selfish. Every one of the people at these meetings is doing it for the LOVE of cycling VOLUNTEERING to be there every 2 months for an hour or two and the LADOT can’t find anyone passionate enough about cycling to give some of their own time? The LADOT is a disgrace to our city and they don’t give a damn about truly fixing the traffic problem in Los Angeles. They just want to keep creeping in higher speed limits, taking away crosswalks and installing defacto freeway corridors through our communities. It’s time for blood.

  • Even if the person or coordinator or whomever does not give of their personal time (which I actually do NOT support–as a fundraising professional I have a LOT of people asking me to do this and you have to draw the line), if there is a meeting after normal business hours, why can’t this person just come in a little later in the morning and therefore work later? I have to work special events frequently, and this is always the solution–either flex time or adjusting your schedule that day. Isn’t this just common sense? Why is this such a big hurdle to overcome? (Unless of course, you trying to throw up any road block possible to progress.)

  • The money that was going to pay for the 710 freeway is now going to go to turn every possible street in NELA into a Major Highway (which we already have in most cases, and which are underutilized according to auto volume data). Their only solution is to build more roads, and private car capacity. When their consultants on the bike plan suggested turning Figueroa Street in NELA into a traffic calmed street (due to low amounts of car traffic) the LADOT turned them down. Now they want to spend millions turning vacant streets like N. Figueroa into replacements for a 710 freeway connector.

    Who is writing their paychecks? Is it us, the people of LA? Or is it the car dealers and oil companies? The last time I checked, my neighbors wanted quiet streets and a high quality of life.

  • I would suspect a more sinister motive. Because the Glenn Bailey led BAC no longer toes the LADOT line, Robinson wants to take her ball and go home. Looks to me like a deservedly embattled agency is starting to circle the wagons — which is usually the last step before someone high up gets fired.

  • Erik G.

    Let’s all keep an eye on Rita. If she sends staff to just ONE after-hours meeting that involves the auto-centric culture LADOT favors, please report it here!

  • ERIK G. FOR THE WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Maybe if bikes somehow fought terrorism, we could get money for fare gates from the Federal Government or something for bike lanes. If that doesn’t work out, maybe we can throw a “BIKEWAYS BAKESALE!”

    Expect all the cookies to taste bitter and the designs to be stale.

  • MU

    Oh ubrayj02…didn’t you hear? Bikes do fight terrorism. Less imported oil = less money to petrol states = less funding for radical islamist groups…
    What bikes don’t fight are consultants and bureaucrats, far more insidious scourges.

  • MU, you’re a genius! All we have to do now is get one of the City of LA’s departments to submit a grant application to the federal government along these lines.

    The MTA’s Proposition C 1/2 cent sales tax has as it’s purpose the following:

    “Proposition C, Section 4.
    (a) Purpose of Tax.
    To improve transit service and operations, reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, efficiently operate and improve the condition of the streets and freeways utilized by public transit, and reduce foreign fuel dependence.”

    That is both state AND federal government money we can use! Also, bike lanes are perfect for terrorist to ride on undetected to their targets! For example, a terrorist could potentially ride behind a Hollywood studio and launch an unwanted screenplay over the fence using a bike lane behind along the LA River. With more money for bike lanes, we could construct them on street, with signal detectors, to keep the terrorists moving and surrounded by a constant stream on onlookers heading to and from work, school, and shopping.

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